A comprehensive patient safety initiativebegun in Illinois is aimed at reducingmedication-related errors by mandatingthat all health care providers use electronicprescribing (e-prescribing). The initiativecreates a Division of Patient Safety withinthe Illinois Department of Public Health.
The focus of the division will be onreducing medical errors, developingstandard medication practices todecrease adverse drug reactions, andcreating on-line physician databases sopatients can learn more about theirphysicians. Furthermore, the PatientSafety Division would like to look intobroadband technology for rural healthfacilities, create a program to providenon-Medicare patients with personalizedassistance and care, and provide low-interestloans through the state's financeauthority for physicians to upgrade theirtechnology.
Gov Rod Blagojevich's directive callsfor upgrades to be in place by 2011. Hesaid, however, that he would like to seephysicians and hospitals using e-prescribingby next year. The governor promisedto assist health care providers infinancing the costs of upgrades in computersoftware, hardware, and training.